Rafa Benitez is feeling down but not beaten after his team made it nine Premier League matches without a win.

Newcastle dominating possession and shots but Brighton taking the three points back to the south coast.

The NUFC boss declaring ‘We have to be more clinical in the final third’ as good situations and chances were wasted.

It is obvious to all that as well as a lack of quality in terms of creativity, the lack of a natural goalscorer is painfully obvious.

Salomon Rondon wasn’t fit enough to be involved against Brighton and the reality of Mike Ashley’s refusal to allow proper strengthening of the squad, means that the main hope of goals is a 29 year old loan striker who has averaged only eight goals per season in the Premier League so far.

Brighton’s near neighbours Southampton are next on the fixture list, will it be tenth time lucky this season?

Rafa Benitez:

“I’m still convinced that we can avoid relegation.

“Sometimes you lose games without creating too much, or because the other team is too strong and you have to defend, today we were in control and we had the chances.

“They scored a goal from a corner that was not even a corner…and after they were just wasting time.

“I think after a game like this one, you have to say we did almost everything to win, meaning that we were not good enough in the final third and didn’t take our chances – but in terms of the effort of the players you can’t ask for more.

“I am confident that if the team continues playing and working as hard as today, we will score goals.

“Everyone can see that the team tried everything and sometimes when you talk about games, when you talk about us having to defend against some teams…today we had 27 attempts!

“We had control and then they had a corner, which wasn’t a corner, and they scored.

“We have to be more clinical in the final third.

“We were so much in control and we were making crosses (41 in total).

“We then put Ritchie on the left hand side to be sure that we could deliver some crosses and we put Joselu on, but we had control of the game, so they were not a threat at that time.

“I will repeat, we were so much in control that it was better to carry on doing what we had to do.

“When you cannot play easily you have to find a solution and then strikers with mobility could be an option, but it’s not just if you play long, or if you play high or not, if you play long on the floor, it could be fine.

“It’s something that we were expecting, but again I will say, we have to be more precise when we move the ball.

“Everybody is a bit down now and we have lost a game we deserved to win, or at least get something from, it is difficult to explain when you have these situations.

“I have said before it’s difficult and it is still difficult.

“It is a long race and we have to keep going, we have to make sure we keep going at this level and score goals.

“We could see they were wasting time from the first minute and when they scored it got even worse.

“They were stopping the game all the time and they used their experience to manage the game and waste time with the goalkeeper.”

Stats from BBC Sport:

Newcastle 0 Brighton 1


Brighton: Kayal 29

Possession was Brighton 32% Newcastle 68%

Total shots were  Brighton 8 Newcastle 27

Shots on target were Brighton 2 Newcastle 6

Corners were  Brighton 2 Newcastle 10

Referee: Andre Marriner

Newcastle United:

Dubravka, Yedlin, Lascelles, Fernandez, Dummett, Ritchie, Diame, Shelvey, Kenedy, Perez, Muto (Joselu 74)

Unused Subs:

Darlow, Atsu, Murphy, Schar, Hayden, Manquillo

Crowd: 50,329 (Brighton approx 1,300)

(Can these statistics from Newcastle 0 Brighton 1 be misleading? Read HERE)

(Instant NUFC fan/writer reaction to the defeat HERE)

(Match ratings of all NUFC players v Brighton HERE)

(Lee Charnley “We’ll do better when we play the lesser teams” – Read HERE)

  • Toontaff

    41 crosses to Muto and Perez v Dunk and Duffy = brain-dead!
    Sorry, Rafa, we’re going down by Christmas at this rate.

    • Wezza

      It was insanity. Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. Reminds me of McClarens tactics.

      • Danimal

        Reminds me of how Fatty runs the club.

      • HarryHype59

        Rafa’s tactics means the team plays at a far too slow pace. This makes it easier for opposition teams to defend our limited attack. McClaren ‘s teams had the same problem!

        Eighty percent of the blame for our impending relegation lies with the Fat shop keeper. Rafa’s one dimensional tactics and inflexible approach are 20% responsible.

        It is painfully obvious that opposition teams have worked us out at SJP.

        • mentalman

          its also painfully obvious that rafa has ran out of ideas

    • Ram Kishore

      Should have brought on Joselu earlier or played Joselu with any of the other two from the start

    • mentalman

      look how many crosses there was after Hoss came on

  • Leicester Mag

    Little choice but to take a positive view but if we survive then what? Yet more cynical neglect that would serve to further the distance between us and the rest of the football world.

    • graham18

      And the FCB gets away with it again.

      • Steven05

        With 50,000 there to see it every home game

        • graham18

          oh yes we are fools but the next relegation will be the FCB’S last

          • Danimal

            You don’t think he’ll stick around to see us into league one?

  • killymag

    I think Raffa has been on the Columbian marching powder

  • Wezza

    They did waste time and weren’t punished by Marriner – no surprise there.
    I admire Rafa’s confidence but you can bet deep down he knows we are down because he knows he will not be backed in January. No ifs or buts, he won’t. End of.
    Get this FCB out of our club!
    If any season ticket holder cares they’d boycott ONE match that is on sky anyway.

    • Geordiegiants

      They don’t care about the football, have a bit craic with them, it’s about the day out and that’s it basically.

  • Paul Patterson

    How dare the owner put a world class manager in this position. All part of the plan.
    He’s defending himself against the totally stupid.

  • Leazes.

    Amanda Staveley’s agent is Chris Mort apparently!

    • Ram Kishore

      Yeah..Does that mean she’s ready to bid again?
      Or someone has hired Chris mort again to place a bid

    • Down Under Mag

      To be fair, Chris Mort is probably the only Ashley lackey who can hold his head high as he actually did his job properly in his time here. The rest have everything to be ashamed of. but still, you do need to ask if there was just a smidge of a “favour to Ashley” in the sale rumours then don’t you?? I mean, was the bid put in knowing it was too low and therefore ensure a sale never went through and all the while the club wasn’t spending because a sale was likely to go through?? So tired of this carp!

      • mentalman

        things certainly seemed a lot different when he was chairman

  • GToon

    I was going to make a very important comment but unfortunately by the time I’d scrolled down to the bottom of the article I’d seen so many adverts featuring scantily clad ladies that my heads now all over the place and I’ve completely forgotten what I was going to say. Oh yeah. Ashley out!

    • Geordiegiants

      How come I dont get these adverts? 😀
      Leazes keeps getting bet victor ones that I never see either. I’ll have to keep putting up with the Muslim dating website, although it’s anyone’s guess why I get them.

      • Paul Patterson

        Yourmove for me.

        • Geordiegiants

          Thought it was supposed to be what you have been looking at?

    • kingfisher

      Excellent 👏👍👏👍🤣🤣

    • Billmag

      That’s the only positive of approaching 70, you tend to ignore such distractions.

  • Dillon Tovak

    We did have enough chances to score a goal or two, but when the squad is this weak there isn’t the quality or confidence to put them away.
    Wasting time isn’t a good enough reason unfortunately, we’ve done plenty of that this season and it hasn’t stopped us losing.

  • Danimal

    The funny thing is we could go there next weekend and do what Brighton did to us. It’s fine margins. Remember McClaren’s shower somehow nicking a 1-0 win at Bournemouth? Looks like the bottom five is the bottom five. If Palace, Burnley or Brighton join the party, well the more the merrier. We (Ashley) certainly deserve to go down but you never know.

  • Leazes.

    Amanda Staveley’s agent is Chris Mort apparently!

    I’ll just put it there…. in case anyone misses it, its quite an important revelation.

    • Kenny

      Mr. Death, fits the bill

    • Malcolm Fisher

      You’ve already said that.

  • HarryHype59

    Sorry Rafa, this team is as good as down as It won’t score enough goals. The strikers and midfield simply aren’t good enough at EPL level.

    Eighty percent of the blame lies with the Fat asset stripper. Rafa’s one dimensional tactics are a further contributing factor. Teams have worked us out at SJP. Something else has to be tried.

    • Geordiegiants

      Which strikers?
      He haven’t got ONE!

      • HarryHype59

        Actually, we have three, two aren’t good enough and one is this year’s version of Slimani. The goal scoring problem is compounded by a non scoring midfield.

        The end result is relegation by Christmas!

        • Geordiegiants

          No doubt about it. It’s all down to not having a striker though.

  • Kenny

    Same schit different game, Nufc will go down & this time it will be for more than 1 season. those f##ker`s who go to the match are like sheep to the slaughter.

    • Leazes.

      An unholy combination of a malevolent owner and a large enough population to accept meekly the asset strip…… largely filling a stadium.

      ……, and a local press who pump out the message of ‘get behind the team’.

      When a club was stripped to the extent of playing loan players, and the owner spends player money literally like monopoly money on a high street Chain store….. puts his faith in his own ridiculous judgements and the local press who will not ask questions….

      Did he really gamble on a repeat escape like last season?

      Charnley said…..’results will come when we play lesser teams’

      Yes…. he gambled again that there are three worse sides….

    • Peaky

      Good holiday ???

  • Rob

    Simply not going to happen when we can’t get three points at home against Brighton.

    Truth be told all teams you’d consider relegation candidates have invested more and are mostly free of poisonous ownership.

    We’d find the championship tough enough with that squad.

  • kingfisher

    Quote from Garth Crooks :
    “This could be the turning point for Newcastle boss Rafael Benitez.

    “When Newcastle fans start streaming out of the stadium before the end of the game, the writing is on the wall.”

    So much for the 50, 000 supporting the team not the regime ! Everyone and their dog knows that the atmosphere is like a morgue at SJP so why bother going ?

    Moan and complain before the match,moan and complain during the match and moan and complain after the match, but hey at least you can all go to work and proudly say : “I was there to support the team, not the regime”.

    Make the Wolves game the point where you finally say that ENOUGH IS ENOUGH !

    • Geordiegiants

      Don’t forget they are decked out in all his gear, drinking all his drink and eating his pies while moaning about him.

      • kingfisher

        Too true Geordie, it’s unbelievable !

  • Dave1954

    We are dross.